Mohammed (Mo) Mrabat
Owner, Café Diem & Mo’s Pizza
Expanding a daytime coffee shop into a nighttime pizza restaurant was easy with an advanced payment system, helping Mo to focus on what matters most to him: the food and his customers.
From a small-but-characterful premises in a Dublin 4 suburb, Mohammed (Mo) Mrabat fuels the locals with breakfast, lunch and dinner. From morning coffee and cakes to paninis and pizza, his first love is food.
Originally from Morocco, Mo moved to Ireland in 2003 and has had varied roles in hospitality since then, including working as a chef in a five-star hotel and as the personal chef for Morocco’s ambassador to Ireland.
In 2013, he set up his coffee shop, Café Diem, in Donnybrook. But it’s much more than that.
“It’s not just a coffee shop; now, it’s a community,” Mo says. “I know everybody’s coffee order; they just sit down and wait for their coffee. Local groups meet here, new visitors chat with regulars, and people even leave their spare keys here with me. I always call them the Café Diem ‘family’… I never really call them ‘customers’.”
Business expansion made easier with payment system
In 2021, he invested in a striking, mirrorball-style wood-fired pizza oven to facilitate the expansion of his business. Now, he not only runs Café Diem by day, but he also runs Mo’s Pizza restaurant by night.
“We had the opportunity to grow the business a bit,” Mo explains. “I’d never had experience as a pizza chef before then but, as I told my Italian friends: I’m not going to do Italian pizza; I’m just doing good pizza.”
Mo chose Poynt, the smart, wireless terminal from Elavon. With the Poynt payments system, Mo’s Pizza could take orders online, over the phone, from walk-in customers paying with cash and even from the premises’ outdoor tables – and then send the orders straight to the kitchen.
I needed a payments solution that could help me run all aspects of my businesses in one system.
“They provided the terminal and point of sale in one machine and that’s exactly what I was looking for. I don’t have to store it anywhere. I just charge it in the morning and use it all day.
“I’m not an accountant. I’m a chef,” Mo continues. “I love food and that’s what I want to focus on. I needed a payments solution that could help me run all aspects of my businesses in one system, especially as Café Diem and Mo’s Pizza are quite different.”
Tailoring to work for your business needs
The wireless payment terminal, Poynt, gives you the opportunity to customise your terminal, and Mo was able to add apps specially tailored for cafés and restaurants. “You can add apps and different categories, and identify your busiest times of day and your best-selling items. You can even set up special offers and provide gift cards. In one system, you can do everything.
“Plus, the cloud system means I can check my business from anywhere, in real-time,” he adds.
Every week, Mo checks the tips that customers have left his business and he interprets this information in a particular way. “You can set up a tip option on Poynt – either by percentage, such as 10% or 15%, or the customer can set their own amount. When I see online how much I’ve made in tips per week, I think of it like a review of my business!
“Elavon gives me the opportunity to look after my business properly,” says Mo. “Otherwise, I’d be thinking about payments and chargebacks and refunds – and if there was a problem, I couldn’t solve it myself on the spot. Now, if there are any problems, customer service solves them quickly – it’s really easy.
“I’m not a big planner, but I believe in Elavon and I’m sure I’m going to be with them as long as I have a business, I really do,” he concludes.
Elavon Financial Services DAC, trading as Elavon Merchant Services, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.